Thursday, January 31, 2013

Maybe if I make beautiful pillows they won't notice the ugly couch!

The pillows on my couch have been begging to be replaced for a while now, a fact that I have been aware of, but have been ignoring in favor of other more interesting projects.
Until last week when Joshua turned to me and said "we could really use some new couch pillows!"
Say What?!  
You know it's bad when the boys start noticing, so that lit a fire under me and I stopped at Hobby Lobby and picked up two 18x18 pillows...
And two yards of sunny yellow chevron material...
I used the same process to make the covers as I did before in my previous blog post HERE.
And I must say that they look much better, are much more comfortable, and will be much easier to clean than their predecessors.
But here's the real test...
Ahhhh yes!
Hurray for the new pillows, now if only I could sew myself a new couch!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A Penny Earned...Or, what Noah decided to do with his pine cone money!

So, we counted the money in Noah's piggy bank, and he is $16 shy of the amount necessary to purchase his heart's desire...a Batman Tower play set!
(his piggy bank had somewhat of a head start on being full since Josh and I regularly stick loose change inside, but I decided not to split hairs on the issue as he did work hard to earn some of the money himself!)
Despite our efforts to show him all of the things he could potentially purchase for himself with his earnings, Noah chose to delay gratification and save for the Batman Tower! 
Funny story, after we counted his earnings it was bath time, and I forgot and left the money on his bedroom floor.  See where this is going?...
Well, after a bit Noah called from the bathtub, "What's that penny sound?"
And sure enough, Gigi was in his room, carefully putting all the organized change piles back into the piggy bank!
Industrious little entrepreneur that he is, Noah was quickly after more ways to earn money! 
My rule is that he cannot earn $ for his regular chores, but he can go above and beyond and get paid for his efforts.
For example, he is now my official coupon clipper, carefully cutting out all of the coupons that I mark (and a few that I don't) and he is eager to help his sister clean up her room!
In order to help him keep track of how much he earns and how much he still needs to reach his goal, we made a countdown chain.
Noah cut out 16 strips labeled with $1
Then he taped the rings together into a chain!
Now he knows exactly how many dollars he needs to reach his goal!
Oh!  And all that change has been converted into paper bills which he is thrilled to have tucked away in his wallet!
I am so impressed by his willingness to wait for what he really wants, I was never good at that myself, but it is so great to have this opportunity to help him learn about the value of a "penny earned" and the satisfaction of achieving a goal!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Penny For Your Thoughts?...No, For Your Pine Cones!

It all started many years ago when I was a little girl of about 6 or 7. 
We used to live in Oregon, and we were absolutely experts in the art of growing dandelions!
Now, I personally have always liked dandelions, at least when they are a bright sunshine yellow and make the world look happy and Springtimy...
But my mom hated them and one day offered me a penny for every dandelion I picked!
Now lets fast forward to today, and to my front yard which, while not plagued by dandelions at this time of year, has suddenly become a garden of pine cones!  They are everywhere and I hate them! 
I am pleased to report that inflation has not affected the pine cone picking up industry at all, Noah was thrilled at the prospect of a penny per pine cone picked...say that 5 times fast!
And aside from the benefit of a cleaner yard, I also have the opportunity to help Noah learn about the value of money!
I was so excited that I told him once his piggy bank was full to the top, he could buy himself a present at the store!  (this will be ironically significant in a moment)...
Since I don't have a million pennies handy I must resort to paying him in larger coins...
First lesson, more coins does not necessarily mean more money!!!
Noah thinks that's pretty funny and opts for the pile of 20 nickels over the 10 dimes or the measly 4 quarters!
I tried several creative ways of showing him that the different coins have different values and so on and so forth until Noah finally stopped me by saying "I KNOW!  But the nickels will fill up my piggy bank the fastest and then I can go to the store and by myself a present!"

Well, lets not lose sight of the fact that I have my very own personal pine cone picker-upper!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

An Organized Soul...or Car at Least!

 Over the summer I got a little frustrated with the state of our car, and after failing to find a satisfactory solution in the stores, I finally made my own!
Say hello to the car organizer for books!
When I made this, Gigi was still in her bucket car seat so I neglected to make one for her.
The other day, in one of those crazy mom moments, I buckled her into Noah's car seat by mistake and though she looked at me funny, she sat there happily enjoying access to the books in Noah's organizer!
Whoops!  guess it's time to make her one too!
I raided my scraps and came up with a fun combination of patterns and colors and got to work...
It's a simple design using one long double sided piece for the back and four smaller double sided pieces for the pockets...
I won't bore you with the details, but I put the whole thing together and finished the edges with bias tape, and...
Inspired, I think, by the spring like weather we have been having, Joshua spent a lot of time on Sunday cleaning the car from top to bottom, so take a long look because it's likely that it won't stay this clean for long...
But I think with both book organizers in play, it will hopefully never get that messy again!
Love the concept?
Want your own?
Visit my Etsy shop where I have just listed this little beauty!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Oh For the Love of Morning Star Farms!

It's time again for me to share some exciting BZZ with you, and this time I have the privilege of telling you about our long standing love affair with Morning Star!
Now, first things first, I must tell you that I am a bzz agent, and I received a coupon for a free Morning Star product to try along with a few coupons to hand out, but my opinions are my own, shared honestly, and freely!
A lot of times when I am called upon to share the bzz about a product, it is a product that is, if not new in existence, then new to me.
But I must admit that I have been a Morning Star Farms fan for years!
I love to heat up their garden veggie patties or spicy black bean burgers add a slice of tomato and a piece of cheese for a light lunch or dinner!
I love that the they have 74% less fat than a beef burger, and I love that they are so delicious, but I really love how much my kids love them!
Noah likes his breakfast sausage with ketchup...
While Gigi goes in with both hands, no condiments necessary!
And the veggie patties are a great alternative to regular chicken nuggets!
I highly recommend the Morning Star Farms meatless products, for flavor, for their low cost, and as a healthy alternative to beef!
Now that you've heard my opinion on the matter, what do you think about Morning Star?
Leave a comment here or on Facebook and let me know!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

A Little Foolish Fun...OR the Most Helpful Big Brother Ever!

For Christmas Gigi got her very own helmet...
And since it's been so nice out lately we decided to take the helmet for a test run!  We live on a hill, and flat riding surfaces are limited, but since Josh drives to work now, the top of the driveway is free providing a small but effective surface for practicing our riding skills!
Noah's preferred mode of transportation is his scooter, and since he's a more experienced rider, he decided to offer his sage advice to his sister...
Things like how to hold on tight when your big brother gives your bike a good push with you on it! to hold on tight when your helpful big brother demonstrates how to stop short!
Of course he was quick to give chase when her bike began to roll away on it's own...
And he made no objections whatsoever when Gigi decided she was ready to try her hand at the big bike...
This picture doesn't show it, because by the time I took it she had pushed his helping hand aside, but he even attempted to help her adjust her helmet when it was bothering her.
Noah was an attentive, kind, patient, and VERY enthusiastic helper...
But if you ask her, I think she'd tell you she did it all by herself!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Dress Obsessed!

For the past couple of days, I have been a bit obsessed with making dresses!
It started with an unexpected, but very welcome, run on dresses in my shop, which left my stock depleted.
Luckily, I have several new fabrics to play with!
And I love to add ruffles for style and interest!
And let's not forget the classics!
I can't resist this Amy Butler design.  How sweet will the lucky newborn who claims ownership of this little peasant dress be?!
And after the last few sub-zero days, I am beginning to yearn for summer, so I put together this sassy little sundress!
All of these spiffy little frocks...frocks?...(mmm sure lets go with it :-)
All of these frocks are now available in my Etsy Shop!
And of course I couldn't neglect Gigi's wardrobe which has become somewhat diminished as she continues to grow and grow, so I whipped up this little reversible top!
It took some careful calculating to get the pattern just right, and I ran into a few snags along the way, but it was worth it, I am in love, and this little top may soon find its way into my shop as well!
But for now, it's simply Gigi...
And she is the perfect model, generously allowing me to chase her with my camera as she...
 gets tangled in her yo-yo string...
Takes a moment to read a book...
Takes the afor mentioned yo-yo for a walk...
(can I just take a minute to say Hello Sparkle Boots!)
And serenades me to the tune of Dora the Explorer!
Swiper no swiping, everyone!